I hit the road late Wednesday afternoon, beginning what was to be a 757 kilometer (470 miles) round trip with a drive of about an hour to Oamaru, where I spent the night at my parent's place. It was very good to catch up with them, and removing an hour from next day's travel made good sense as I was physically and mentally tired after all the work on getting the pots made and fired, sorted and packed for the exhibition.
Thursday, 5 November
I decided to take the scenic inland route from Geraldine to Darfield. This road runs along the Eastern side of the Southern Alps and the slightly longer journey is more than compensated for by an easy road, with little traffic, and glorious views of mountains. I picked up this route by turning West off State Highway 1 at Winchester just North of Temuka, then driving the short distance to the very pretty town of Geraldine, where I stopped for refreshments and to stretch my legs.
I had planned to visit the McAtamney Gallery that is in the old post office building in Geraldine, but the gallery was shut. Happily, round the back of the old post office, Susan Badcock's Studio was open. Susan's father, John Badcock, turned out to be looking after the gallery at the studio that morning, and it was really delightful to catch up with him. John is a very accomplished painter, and I enjoyed meeting him years ago when I was still a painter myself. John paints mostly landscapes and people, and he likes to paint in front of his subject. You are far more likely to find John out on location somewhere, at work in front of an easel, slashing away at a canvas with thick oil paint, rather than cooped up in the comfort of a studio. I was really fortunate to meet John again like that as the following day he was to be in Hamilton in the North Island giving an artist's talk at the Waikato Museum to accompany his exhibition "Passing People", which is a fascinating collection 100 life sized portraits that he completed over the course of a year.
Not far out of Geraldine I began to get my first good views of the mountains, these were sharp, steep, and grey, with flanks dusted and highlighted by a fresh fall of snow.
I had to stop the van and take a photo with my smart phone!
I parked the van close to a lovely pink waterfall of clematis that was giving a great show, in fact it looked so happy that I am sure it was singing a song to the sunshine, fresh air, wide open spaces, and the mountains near by!
A pleasant drive with mountain views took me through the early afternoon to the Rakaia Gorge. I had seen the Gorge before some 20 or more years ago, but had quite forgotten the magnificence and scale of it!
|Rakaia Gorge looking West.|
|Rakaia Gorge looking East.|
|Ingrid and Judy hard at work behind the counter at the Selwyn Gallery.|
Friday 6 November 9.30am.
The gallery began to hum with activity as two artists started to set up their shows, Judy Rogers (here is a link to her web site) with her fabric hangings and framed pictures at one end of the gallery, and myself at the other!
|Judy Rogers, the other artist that was exhibiting, part way through a lengthy process of hanging her work.|
Most of my pots were displayed on plinths, and I had nightmares prior to setting up the exhibition, because I had 22 works, and it appeared that the gallery had only 8 plinths, but it all worked out in the end!
After filling all the plinths I still had 5 pots that needed a home, one of the volunteers, Terri, sped home and returned with a nice little rimu table and a beautiful white Damask table cloth that had belonged to her Great Grand mother (it might have been her Great, Great Grandmother, apologies if I have that wrong!).
The little table reminded me of a church alter set for communion, which suited the work very well, and I was very thankful for such such an elegant solution to a display problem!
Friday 6 Nov, 6pm. The exhibition opening!
When I sent out emails to let people know about the exhibition, I could not think of anyone who was really likely to come to the opening, as I know hardly anyone around Christchurch, however I did have a few replies to the emails (some of which I only found when I got home again!!). I was delighted to have family and friends and friendly clients turn up after all, it really made the evening very enjoyable and special for me, and I am very thankful for the support and encouragement.
Some of us went out for a meal after the opening, and we had a most excellent dinner at the Darfield Hotel, the link is to their menu! If you are travelling from Christchurch to the West Coast, and want a nice meal, I can recommend it!!
I have put together a page of photos and information about the work that is in the exhibition. You should find a tab at the top of my blog to take you to this, but I will attempt to put a link to my "Out of the Fire" Selwyn Gallery Exhibition here.
The Selwyn Gallery, Darfield is open 10am - 4 pm 6 days a week, Tuesday to Sunday. My exhibition runs until 4 December, as does that of Judy Rogers.